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THE STOEMY tfOBTH                                     49
IV
The trend of much modern history is to soft-pedal the power of
personality, to attribute great world movements to economic
causes rather than to the exertions of any individual. This trend
can be carried to unwarranted extremes, till we are asked to
believe that there would have been an Austerlitz without a
Napoleon, or a Stalingrad without a Stalin. Obviously, no man»
however great, can reverse the flow of the tide down which
humanity is drifting, but he can enormously retard or accelerate
its progress, blowing up dams of prejudice, cutting canals by which
great human deserts are watered. It is both inaccurate and
inartistic to belittle the Napoleons of history by regarding them
merely as the embodiment of impersonal forces ; they themselves
can create those forces, the whirlwind which they unloose has its
storm centre in their own hearts.
India teaches this lesson again and again. Gandhi, admittedly,
is a typical Hindu, there are tens of millions Of Gandhis in the
bazaars and the temples and the paddy fields.. .with this little
difference, that Gandhi happens to be, into the bargain, a
creative artist.
The theory of Tun and Games,' which we have just pror
pounded, will be unacceptable to those who choose to drain the
blood out of the human story and to write history as though they
were compiling a ledger, for it explains facts in terms of tempera*
ment—not, admittedly, the temperament of an individual but of
the mass personality of the people. But surely, this c personality
of the people' is also a fact ? Surely it is as easy to chart, and as
potent in its influence, as—let us say—the Straits of Dover ? He
would be strangely purblind who denied that tjie c personality of
the people' was, at least, a considerable factor in the Battle of
Britain or the Fall of France.
When we come to the second question which we set ourselves,
on this journey to the Frontier, we are once more confronted with
the power of personality.
Why is the Province quieter than it has been for twenty years ?
My young friend had stated that one of the causes of the constant
strife was economic. As we stood there we saw, far below in the